Rob Ryan: Underrated Defensive Coordinator

Aaron ConklinContributor IJune 16, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - 2008:  Rob Ryan of the Oakland Raiders poses for his 2008 NFL headshot at photo day in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Getty Images)

When we think about NFL football over the past ten years we really don't think offense, we think defense. I feel I needed to write this article.

In Cleveland, we have had some atrocious defenses since we have come back into the league, and we as fans can admit to this type of nonsense.

When the last regime was fired from the Cleveland Browns, I will have to say it was my happiest time after watching the type of football played by Romeo Crennel and his band of misfits that he called coordinators.

With the new regime in place, I feel that the Browns have found their diamond in the rough when it comes to defensive coordinators in the NFL.

Rob Ryan is the man that will turn around this Browns defense. Some fans are going to disagree with me, and that is their right. But you cannot argue what this man has done with the Oakland Raiders. Come on: the Raiders have been the laughing stock of the league for a while now.

Ryan did not have a lot of talent when he was in Oakland. Yes, he did have some players, a couple of Pro-Bowlers, but not like the Baltimore Ravens, which have at least three to six Pro-Bowlers a year.

This is just a little of what Ryan has done with the Oakland Raiders.

Rob Ryan is in his fifth year as the Raiders defensive coordinator. In 2007, Ryan coordinated a Raiders defense that produced two players who ranked in the top 10 in the AFC in sacks, ranked third in the NFL in percentage of passes intercepted, eighth in the NFL in pass defense, fifth in the AFC in opponent’s third down efficiency (39 percent), and sixth in the AFC in opponent’s Inside the 20 touchdown percentage.

In 2006, Ryan oversaw a defense that led the NFL in pass defense and ranked third in total defense. The Raiders defense under Ryan also ranked fourth in the NFL in fewest yards allowed per play, fifth in defense inside the 20, fifth (tie) in defensive touchdowns, and fifth in net passing yards per play.

Ryan’s defensive schemes in 2006 also helped Derrick Burgess record 12 sacks and play in his second straight Pro Bowl, Warren Sapp record 10 sacks (an NFL high for defensive tackles). In addition, the defensive schemes helped Nnamdi Asomugha post a career high eight interceptions. He was named USA Today’s “All-Joe” and Bill Arnsbarger’s “Football Insiders” Defensive Coordinator of the Year.

This is just a taste of what this man can do with a defense. I am excited to see what he will bring to the Browns.

In closing, we should be thankful to the Oakland Raiders for letting a Defensive Coordinator like Rob Ryan go. This will back fire in the Raiders face.

This might be a little premature in my part, but I love the Browns and I am happy with this selection.



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